When the temperatures rise, so do the hemlines… even in the office??

Wouldn’t we all rather be outside soaking up the sun, having a picnic, at the cabin for a few extra days, enjoying a backyard BBQ… just about anything else besides sitting in the office (no matter how much you love your profession)?  While this may be true, we DO have to be in the office during those long summer days.

I’ve often noticed that people- both men and women- tend to take some liberty with their clothing choices during those long summer days at the office.  I’ve also noticed that women are the primary offenders of – I’ll just say it – inappropriate attire in the office!  What I’m referring to specifically are hemlines.  As the old cliché goes – “as the temperature rises, so do the hemlines.”  Although this phrase may seem a bit dated, it definitely holds true…even in situations where it shouldn’t.
By simply walking around downtown, I see MANY women who are wearing summer skirts that are too short, too sheer or too tight!  Here are three common “mistakes” I see (and I know you’ve seen them too):

  • A lady with really long legs wearing a skirt that is halfway up her thigh – of course she is wearing sky high heels.  Not only is the skirt short (inappropriate short for work), but it is also some type of floral print that is ‘flowy’ and perfect for summer (that was a little sarcasm in case it didn’t come through).  What this lady doesn’t realize (or maybe she does), is that the second the wind blows, that skirt is going to be plastered right up against her chest and back – and no, she didn’t catch it in time to do the classic Marilyn Monroe pose on the street!
  • A lady with an “elastic” pencil skirt doing the penguin shuffle down the street.  At first glance, it might seem like this skirt is fine for the office.  It’s a high-waisted skirt and goes more or less to the knee.  But it’s stretchy and is not made with REAL MATERIAL!!  I’ve often seen a skirt like this paired with a fitted – ok tight, not fitted – blouse or top!  This is not a work-appropriate outfit ladies.  You are attracting the wrong type of attention in this skirt – end of story
  • A lady wearing a light summer skirt (a thinner material) that is so sheer that everyone can see her thighs and/or underwear when the sun shines on her.  While the skirt length or shape may not be inappropriate for the office, this skirt is completely see-through!  I don’t know about you, but I’d feel totally exposed at the office, particularly during a client meeting!

So, why I am sharing some of these “mistakes”?  Am I looking to just rant on my blog?  No.  Am I trying to be controversial? No.  Am I trying to be as straight-up as possible about how to not be a “summer style victim” at work? YES!!
I thought I’d share some great finds and show you how to make this outfit work on those hot summer days:

  • This leopard pencil skirt is definitely fun yet very professional AND it is at the right length (around knee length).   I’d suggest pairing this skirt with an emerald green silk blouse, a matte gold metallic skinny belt (something with a uniform print would be sassy and won’t compete too much with the printed skirt), and a nude or beige heel.  If you need to wear a blazer to work, go with a blazer that is a similar shade as the darker spots on the skirt.  You want to make sure you focus on highlighting one pattern – the skirt – so that the eye is drawn to this modern, yet classic skirt.  I’d also suggest keeping your accessories as minimal is possible so that the focus can be on the skirt.


(Black Halo, McNeil Pencil Skirt, photo from Revolve Clothing)

  • This soft black skirt is perfect for that less formal summer day at the office.  It is versatile enough to take you from solitary work at your desk to the spontaneous, moments-notice client meeting.  I suggest making sure this skirt fits the smallest part of your waist first (and remember to be aware of the length).  I’d suggest pairing it with a summer work sandal in gun-metal grey (remember, uber strappy heels are NOT appropriate for the office), a black/white/red pattern blouse with cap sleeves, and a fun belt – play with the colour!  This style of outfit can easily be doubled for an after-work drink on a patio.  Love it!


(Diana Kennedy Urban Skirt, photo from Lola and Gigi)

  • I realize this last option is a dress but it’s the perfect summer dress for the office.  I love the attention to detail around the neckline and the vertical seaming will give your body a long, lean look.  If you are worried that this heavy jersey material will just hug your frame (aka: your rolls… I have them too), then look for a similar option that has a more structured material.  I’d definitely pair this dress with a fun belt – I might even try something that is a beige/cream colour.  Either sandals- with one strap across the toes- or a closed toe nude heel would work well for the summer.  On a separate note, this dress is a perfect transition to take you into Fall… aka, you save $$!!


(Alexandria Dress, photo from DVF)

If you have any questions about what summer skirts you should/shouldn’t wear to the office, just let me know.  There’s no judgement here… my goal is to help you look fabulous!